Bricks are used in countless ways in architectural and construction designs. There are a variety of different kinds of construction you can employ to build a brick wall with a specific style. Bricks are made of fired clay, and they come in a variety of hues and textures. Color, texture, and the way in which the bricks are laid all influence the style of your brick wall. The patterns used in brick-laying are called bonds.
Running Bond and Common Bond
It is important to understand the distinction of brick-laying terms to understand the styles of brick walls. A 'stretcher' is a brick that is laid horizontally along the wall, so that the long-side of the brick shows. A 'header' is a brick that is laid with the short end facing the wall, so a the square part of the brick shows. A running bond is perhaps the most common style of brick wall, where the bricks are laid in rows of uniform stretchers. A running bond is another simple style. Rows of stretchers are interspersed with a row made completely of headers. The rows are interspersed uniformly, so you might place three rows of headers and one row of stretchers, then repeat the pattern for the entire wall.
A Flemish bond is created alternating each brick as a header and a stretcher. With this style, the bricks appear to be short then long over and over. The rows are laid so that every header is centered above and below a stretcher. This creates the same effect both horizontally and vertically. Though the Flemish bond is considered by many to be the most elegant-looking bond, it is not as strong as the English bond.
The English bond is yet another twist on alternating headers and stretchers. With this style, a row of bricks is laid horizontally with all stretchers. The next horizontal row is laid completely as headers, and the third is another row of stretchers. This alternating pattern is carried throughout the whole wall, creating a uniform, but distinguished look. This bond is used widely and considered to be one of the strongest bonds.
- Photo Credit old brick wall image by Viacheslav Anyakin from Fotolia.com
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